ADL Statement On The Obama-Netanyahu White House Meeting
New York, NY, May 18, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called the White House meeting between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "an important step" in reaffirming the strong and enduring special relationship between the United States and the State of Israel, in moving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward, and dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat.
ADL released the following statement:
This meeting between the two newly elected leaders reaffirmed the strong and enduring special relationship between the United States and the State of Israel.
President Obama stated that Israel's security as an independent Jewish state is in the national interest of the U.S. and that it has the right to defend itself. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he was ready to begin peace talks immediately with the Palestinians and to expand the circle of peace to other Arab states. Netanyahu stated in the clearest terms that Israel wants peace, and that he believed peace could be achieved with compromises on both sides, but that the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state and its legitimacy, and that Israel has the right to defend itself.
On the subject of Iran, both leaders agreed on the seriousness of the Iranian nuclear threat. President Obama stated that the U.S. will undertake a serious process of diplomatic engagement with Iran. He also said those talks must lead to action, and not be an excuse for inaction.
This first meeting underscored the serious commitment of Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama to accomplishing their shared goals of achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians and preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.